Saturday, October 4, 2008

Hobby #8: Anime and Manga

Anime is a very interesting piece of Japan's culture. Because of the lack of western-looking live actors, storytellers needed a way to create stories set in places other than Japan itself, such as Europe. Because of this, Anime was born.

Anime is one of the most popular forms of art and animation. It appeared in the 1930's, but surged in popularity in the 70's. It took off in the western world in the 80's. People like Osamu Tezuka, Go Nagai, and Hayao Miyazaki are often associated with anime.

Manga is the Japanese form of comic books. It has roots in ancient Japan, but in it's modern form it surfaced after world war II. A funny thing about manga is that the pages are read from right to left. The industry of manga is worth about 481 billion yen (4.4 Billion dollars).

It may seem a little strange to put a style of animation as a hobby, but it really is. Anime isn't like american cartoons in which they are mainly aimed at children. Anime covers all genres, from machine to racing to paranormal to even the board game, Go. Hobbyists even have their own name - Otakus. Children may be attracted to anime like "Yugioh!" and "Pokemon", while teens may be attracted to anime like "Yu Yu Hakusho" or "Death Note". Young Girls may be attracted to "Fruits Basket" or "Air". There is virtually no end to the types of anime in existance.

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